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On the Cover

July-August 2015
Volume 103, Number 4

For more than two decades, the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes have been headed toward the edge of the heliosphere, the enormous bubble created by the Sun’s extended atmosphere. That edge, called the heliopause, is defined by the pushback from the interstellar medium against the solar wind, the charged particles that stream from the Sun. Until Voyager 1 reached the heliopause in 2012, scientists knew little about this critical boundary, not even how far away it is...


FEATURE ARTICLES

African Names for American Plants *

Tinde R. van Andel

Slaves brought plant knowledge with them that remains in communities of African descent in the New World.


Shark Trails of the Eastern Pacific *

A. Peter Klimley

Tracking their subjects by satellite, biologists learn when sharks migrate, where they go, and how they use magnetic clues on the ocean floor for navigation.


The Voyagers' Odyssey

Stamatios M. Krimigis, Robert B. Decker

A mission intended to last a mere four years has extended into a decades-long journey to interstellar space.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ NIGHTSTAND

Owls in the Family

Dianne Timblin

A brief review of The House of Owls by Dianne Timblin.

See all book reviews for this issue


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

A Bright Future for Science

Jamie L. Vernon

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Playing in Traffic

Can warning drivers of traffic jams make congestion worse? Can closing roads make it better? Mathematically yes, but real-world confirmation is hard to find.

Brian Hayes

ENGINEERING

Global Shipping and the Raising of the Bayonne Bridge*

Supersized container ships are forcing costly infrastructure changes, including rebuilding the famed span between New Jersey and Staten Island.

Henry Petroski

PERSPECTIVE

Breached Ecological Barriers and the Ebola Outbreak

The epidemic may be waning, but the social and ecological context that brought it about remains.

Robert L. Dorit

ARTS LAB

Sculpting the Beauty and Peril of Coral Reefs

A ceramic sculptor brings ocean conservation issues to the surface.

Courtney Mattison

2015-07ArtsLabF3.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SIGHTINGS

Ecology of the Mojave

Researchers use the principal components transformation to quickly reveal spatial pattern that might not be visible in a true-color composite image.

Sandra J. Ackerman

2015-07SightingsF1.pngClick to Enlarge Image

TECHNOLOGUE

In-tense Robots

Motorized sculptures may represent our best chance for exploring the surfaces of other worlds.

Stephen Piazza

SPOTLIGHT

Interview With a Gene Editor

An interview with Emmanuelle Charpentier who codiscovered the CRISPR-Cas9 system, a genetic tool that is changing the fields of genomics, genetics, and genomic engineering.

Katie L. Burke

The Smell of Grass

An infographic gives a behind-the-science look at why grass smells the way it does.

Briefings

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

What's in a Bug Name?

Egyptian Food Webs

The Cause of Correlation

Racial Diversity in STEM


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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